all businesses impact the planet and society in many ways would it be wonderful if all of them
Fixed their own shit?
Companies often brag about their positive impacts but often stay silent about the negative ones. Let's look at some examples...
Two furniture manufacturers
Imagine you have two furniture manufacturing companies. Both are seeking investment. The founder of Company A says to investors: "If you give me 1 million dollars, I will repay 1,5 million 1 year later". The founder of Company B says "If you give me 1 million dollars, I will repay 1,2 million 1 year later".
Assuming the same amount of risks in each business, it is a no-brainer for the investors to choose to put their money in company A. It does offer a higher return on investment. Very few investors will ask for more information analyzing and comparing the impacts of businesses A and B.
If they would, they could have discovered the following:
Replants the trees
Uses biodegradable chemicals
Uses child labor
Pays workers fairly
Uses recyclable packaging
It cost business B a lot to offset their negative impact and by doing so, they choose to reduce their profits and can only show a 25% margin, while business A can enjoy a 50% margin.
Now, business A can easier find investment to grow their business. They can also offer consumers a 30% discount on their products. Business B can not allow such a generous marketing move.
If both companies were selling their similar sofas at $1000 before, business A can now offer the sofa for $700. For the average consumer 300 dollar-difference might mean whether their kids will have an after-class baseball activity or not. And every parent will probably make a choice for their kids.
This in turn forces company B out of business, in the long run, ruining our planet further. This is unfortunately how our world works today. And I wish that every business starts fixing its own shit.
«Investors and entrepreneurs should evaluate the impacts of the companies they are building making sure the sum of positive and negative impacts stays positive for the planet and society.»
Every year tobacco companies are making billions of dollars in profits. At the same time, they also produce cancer in 10% to 20% of lifelong smokers. Taxpayers in different countries are taking the medical bill for the treatment of those patients which is not fair. We believe that companies should be fixing their own shit. It's easy to calculate the number of cigarettes sold by tobacco companies each year and to estimate the amount of money they should pay to the government to offset the effects. If a tobacco company can not pay that medical bill, it should go bankrupt and stop to exist.
It would be great to pass on a law in every country that forces every business to reduce and offset its negative impacts and fix their own shit.
Pledge for positive impact
If you are the Business Owner I invite you to sign this pledge for positive impact. By doing so, you promise that you will:
Calculate negative impacts of your business
To the best of your ability and knowledge calculate the negative impacts of all aspects of your business.
Reduce negative impacts
Put an effort to reduce all negative impacts in your manufacturing, transportation and other stages of your product or service offering.
Offset things that can not be reduced
Offset those impacts that can not be eliminated with 10% more than needed to help the planet recover.
Transparently share the data*
* If this is not a deal breaker, transparently share your data with the public to invite critique and improvement of impact models and impact calculations.